Nichkhun On Life As a Kpop Trainee

Award-winning magazine #legend is featuring K-pop singer, songwriter, rapper, model and now Hollywood actor, Nichkhun on their December digital cover. Scouted by JYP Entertainment as a teenager in Los Angeles, the Thai-American’s journey to K-pop superstardom has been a whirlwind adventure. Now treading the boards in Hong Kong ahead of his Hollywood debut in Hong Kong Love Story, the darling of SouthEast Asia is broadening his horizons.

Strewn with clothes, shoes, accessories and Michael Jackson providing the soundtrack to this shoot, the atmosphere on set is buzzing with excitement. At the forefront Nichkhun, a master in front of the camera, is reimagining the art of the polaroid. Modernizing the most accessible form of photography, the #legend crew capture a different side to Nichkhun, revealing his authentic self. His quirks and traits no longer masked by artificial photography or effects, Nichkhun is able to show a more relatable side. A plain backdrop and minimal props let his light shine bright. Each outfit is styled to maximise Nichkhun’s distinct characteristics, enhancing his playfulness.

On the challenges of being a K-pop

I was never very good at singing and dancing. [JYP Entertainment] recruited me to go to Korea. When I was there, I started training and they would ask me, “Why are you not good? Why can’t you sing? Why can’t you dance?” I was a bit taken aback because I thought to myself, “You saw my audition tape, you know what I can do”, which, to be honest, at the time was nothing. But then I started to understand that they just wanted to motivate me. I’m part of the company and I have to measure up to their standards.

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On his multicultural upbringing:

I really encourage my friends or people around me to travel more…to get out and meet local people and talk to them, learn a bit about their language and about their culture. I think being and living in different countries, experiencing so many cultures, opens doors. It gives you perspective. Experiencing different cultures gives you an understanding of why people behave the way they do. So I think in that sense it plays a big role in my career and my work ethic.

On musical inspiration:

For me, the most important thing is staying true to myself, because the industry will always want something new. I’m not aiming for a number one hit song every time, I’m just trying to show off my colours. What I’ve learned is you can never satisfy the public completely. To me, music is timeless, I listen to the same old songs that I like. And I think that’s just who I am.

On the leap from music to acting:

I was always interested and intrigued by acting. Acting was kind of a natural next step for me. I’ve had so many great opportunities, I got lucky and now I’m in an American film and it all came from a series of opportunities and me being fortunate.

On the importance of giving back:

I’m so thankful that UNICEF chose me to be one of their ambassadors. If I’m spreading the message, then that will hopefully have an impact on others too. In my position, I live off of people’s love so it’s very important for me to give some of that love back and not just take all the time.

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